A property manager is to your investment as your engine is to your car. Without a great finely tuned engine your car does not deliver you your intended outcome (a safe journey without incident). Likewise, without a systemized, knowledgeable property manager, you will never get to your intended outcome (a safe profitable business operated without incident).
As I research real estate markets looking for quality turnkey property providers I have a list of questions I ask the property managers. As my early holiday gift to you, I am sharing this list of questions with you.
The first questions have to do with finding good tenants. A building with good tenants tends to have fewer maintenance and other issues.
Property Management Questionnaire – Tenant Questions
- How many vacancies do you have right now? Out of how many total units that you manage?
- What is the average length of time it takes to fill a vacancy?
- Is that average time getting longer or shorter?
- How do you market your rental units?
- Do you use the web site to attract new tenants and to keep prospects informed?
- What factors would make you reject a prospect?
- Would you accept a tenant who met your qualifications in some areas, but not others? 8. Which qualifications are most important to you?
- What screening methods do you use?
Property Management Questionnaire – Tenant Management
The next questions relate to tenant management. It’s just as important to keep good tenants as it is to find them.
- How do you collect rents?
- What is your late rent policy?
- What other rules do you set for tenants?
- What percentage of tenants do you have to evict?
- How does the eviction process work here?
- How do your tenants contact you?
Property Management Questionnaire – Maintenance
- Which kinds of maintenance jobs are handled in-house?
- Which ones do you use an outside handyman for?
- Which ones do you use professional contractors for?
- How many quotes do you get for jobs?
- How expensive does a job have to be for you to contact me before doing it?
- What are your rules for contractors being inside occupied rental units?
- Who are your preferred contractors?
Property Management Questionnaire – Experience
You want managers to know the local real estate world inside and out.
- How long have you been a property manager?
- Do you have any certifications?
- Does your locality require landlords to have a license or permit to operate a rental and if so what are those fees?
- Do you understand the local rules and ordinances to accommodate things such as local licensure requirements and or section 8 requirements?
- Do you personally invest in real estate in this area?
Finally, you need to understand your arrangement with the property manager.
- What is your fee structure?
- Are your reports web based if not how do we get them?
- Do you require an exclusive arrangement to broker the property?
- How much notice will you give before terminating a contract?
Here are some other things to watch out for – a manager with a messy office. Chances are they doesn’t much care about the condition of the properties either. A manager you have a hard time reaching by phone or email. If he won’t return your messages now when he’s trying to get your business, what are the chances that he’ll do better later?
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